Virginia Healthcare Reform Challenge Tossed

Court says Virginia lacks standing

In a victory for the Obama Administration, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has thrown out Virginia's lawsuit over healthcare reform.

The court ruled Thursday that the state had no legal standing to sue. It was a unanimous decision by a three-judge panel. Two of those judges were appointed by President Obama, the other by Bill Clinton.

"Obviously, we are disappointed in the ruling," Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement. "Our disappointment not only stems from the fact that the court ruled against us, but also that the court did not even reach the merits on the key question of Virginia's lawsuit -- whether Congress has a power never before recognized in American history: the power to force one citizen to purchase a good or service from another citizen."

This is the second appellate court ruling affirming the government's right to require individuals to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. The lawsuit claimed that mandate is unconstitutional.

A federal appeals court in Cincinnati also upheld the law, but an appeals court in Atlanta struck down the insurance mandate.

More than 30 lawsuits have been filed over the law.

The Supreme Court is almost certain to have the final say on whether the coverage mandate is constitutional. Most legal observers expect the court to hear arguments during the term beginning next month and make a ruling next summer.

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